Bleddyn makes his choice. Shenanigans. The Widow Robert.
|I stood out there, shivering in nothing but my boots and William’s trousers, arms wrapped around my torso, getting wet all over again and trying my best to calm myself. To put away the rage and despair that were trying to drive me mad.
I shivered and shook as the rain stole the warmth of Bleddyn’s embrace and kisses, wondering what it was about me that I just kept falling for the wrong guys. Oh, certainly never this fast or hard before Bleddyn, but still, I had a track record of unsuitable guys going back to the first, who’d claimed to love me, then dumped me when I told him I wasn’t ready to have sex with him.
I couldn’t tell if it was progress or a lateral move that the most recent guy dumped me because I was having sex with him.
It was ironic, if nothing else, and I laughed miserably, briefly, burying my face in my hands then running them back through my hair. I tugged on it till my teeth ached and resisted the urge to scream—an urge that’d been building in me since the moment I began to believe that I’d been swept backwards in time.
I’d been fighting it and fighting it—successfully, with Bleddyn to distract me—but now, with bald reality staring me in the face, the urge was undeniable. I opened my mouth and let out a yell, as loud and lonely as any wolf howling. I yelled until my face grew hot and my voice cracked and broke, and all that was coming out was sobs. Drained, I sank to my knees in a puddle, uncaring, and held myself. Rocked myself and sobbed until I was hoarse and empty.
I was perhaps trapped here, for the rest of my life, in close proximity to a man who could’ve been everything I’d ever wanted, but for the pesky belief of his that he was going to Hell for wanting me. And said man was the only person—perhaps besides Gwenllian—who knew my true origins. He was maybe the only person I could ever talk to about 2014, and my family and friends, without lying.
And the only thing he seemed to despise more than me, was himself.
Though, to be fair, the time he was raised in had branded into his bones that who he was, who we were, was wrong and deserving of nothing less than an eternity of Hellfire. He wasn’t a closet-case because of his career or his family—not directly—but because he was trying to be a good man . . . and to avoid being put to death by the law of the land he lived in. Those were no small reasons to be in the closet. Walking the straight and narrow for the sake of Heaven and for the sake of one’s continued existence on this planet was a hard habit to break, and one that shouldn’t be broken lightly.
But then . . . I hadn’t asked him to break those habits lightly. Or at all. He’d offered to break them—at least in private. Which was more than I could’ve hoped for or expected. He’d given up, from his point of view, a chance at Heaven to be with me, however briefly. And then his father had found us and his so-called sin was no longer a private matter between Bleddyn and his Savior, but—once again—fodder for anyone Rhys chose to vent to.
In Bleddyn’s eyes I was, no doubt, shaping up to be another William. Could I blame him for wanting to avoid that whole mess twice in a lifetime?
No, I decided heavily. I can’t.
But that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. More than I’d ever been hurt by a lover before. Bleddyn had his reasons for his choices, but my heart didn’t understand that.
No, it did understand, but that understanding didn’t mitigate the pain of rejection. Of coming in second place to Heaven and Rhys’ good opinion.
Maybe Gwenllian really does know more than she let on in Trefriw. And if she does, maybe she knows a way to get me home. I don’t know that I can live the rest of my life in this time. It’s too dangerous, too confusing, and too painful. There’s worse than nothing here for me. There’s just the stagnant promise of something good, fallen through, and its reminder, in the flesh, to be seen and lamented over every day for the rest of my time here . . . maybe for the rest of my life. . . .
Suddenly, there were large hands on my shoulders, warm and relatively dry. I shrugged them off angrily and they came back, insistent and unyielding, sliding down my arms until strong, bare arms were sliding around mine. There was a shallow splash as another pair of knees landed in my puddle and those arms pulled me back into an embrace that was tight and unbreakable. Kisses pressed themselves into my hair, against my temple and face, and to my neck, and I tried feebly to turn away from them, but I was held firm and still.
“Why are you doing this to me, Bleddyn?” I asked in a voice as dully miserable as I felt. “You keep pushing me away only to pull me closer—then push me away again. That’s not fair. Every time you feel guilty about wanting me, I’m the one who suffers, and it hurts . . . don’t you understand?” I sighed, shaking my head. “It hurts.”
Bleddyn’s kisses didn’t stop, only became more intent and tender. “I do not mean to hurt you,” he murmured softly on the skin of my shoulder, and I shivered, a small, but traitorous moan escaping the prison of my lips. “I only know that I desire you, all of you. I wish for you to be mine, and none other’s. I want to lie with you, and speak with you, and comfort you when you’re hurting . . . not be the cause of that hurt.”
“But you are, Bleddyn. You are.”
“I know, *fy ngoleuni, I know.” Bleddyn rested his chin on my shoulder before leaning his forehead against it. “You bring me nothing but joy, and yet I bring you nothing but pain.”
I sighed, turning my head so I could lean it against Bleddyn’s. This . . . closeness, after everything, was as lovely as it was unbearable. “No, that’s not true. No relationship is wholly pain or wholly joy. I’ve hurt you, I’m certain, just as you’ve hurt me.”
“Yet the pain I’ve caused you is worse, is it not? The pain of not knowing when the one who swore an oath to protect and care for you will of a sudden abandon you, leaving you to think the very worst. . . .” Bleddyn exhaled heavily, and I knew he was referring to this morning, when his father had caught us and Bleddyn had chosen to go after him, rather than stay with me. “I know nothing, anymore, it seems. Nothing but that you deserve better treatment than that which I’ve bestowed upon you.”
“And you . . . you shouldn’t have to choose between your lover and your father, Bleddyn,” I whispered, meaning to pull out of his arms and make for him the choice he was having such trouble making. But he held me fast, and stood up, pulling me to my feet, then scooping me up in his arms like I weighed nothing. I wrapped my arms around his neck quickly, not wanting to be dropped on my ass in the puddle he’d just got us out of.
When I met Bleddyn’s eyes, his own were solemn and pained, but determined.
“And yet, I do. I have,” he said softly, carrying me back into the dim, stuffy air of the barn, and out of the rain. At the stall where I’d been sleeping, Bleddyn had laid our still-damp shirts out over the straw, and he knelt, and gently placed me down on them. I gazed up at his face and the warring emotions thereon, and reached out to cup his cheek in my hand. He leaned into my touch and sighed. “I have made my choice, Karthik.”
“I understand,” I replied stoically, removing my hand and looking away. It didn’t hurt as much as I’d thought it would, getting the final brush-off. Maybe that was because at least this time, I’d known it was coming. Or maybe I was just numb, and the worst of the pain was still yet to come. But whatever it was, I managed a smile, and started to say: Oh, well. At least we’ll always have Paris, to put a brave face on it, when Bleddyn turned my face toward his and smiled, even though there were tears in his eyes.
“I have made my choice,” he said, and so saying leaned down to kiss me.
All I could think was: Oh. . . .
Then I was laying down and pulling him down on top of me. He came willingly, all damp, chilled muscle, still kissing me, his hands on my chest.
“Me?” I gasped as he pinched my nipples and tugged on them just on the pleasurable side of too hard. “Is it me?”
“Yes,” Bleddyn breathed, leaning his forehead against mine and rolling us over so I was straddling his thighs. “Always you, fy ngoleuni.”
I pinned Bleddyn’s hands to the hay and searched his eyes for long moments. What I saw there was scared, but resolute. He meant what he was saying. His heart was in his eyes and his choice was in his heart. It was all right there for me to see, no dissembling or ambiguity.
It was me. He’d made his choice, and . . . it was me.
“Have I hurt you again?” Bleddyn asked, easily freeing a hand from my hold to wipe away tears that gathered in my eyes and kept falling on his face. “Say not that I’ve hurt you, when my only aim was to prove my love?”
I laughed and kissed him, joy so big and bright welling up within me to such a degree I was sure I’d explode. “No, Bleddyn, you haven’t hurt me. You’ve just made me the happiest man in the world, that’s all. These are happy tears,” I told him, kissing him again as he freed his other hand and wrapped both arms around my waist.
“Happy tears?” he asked doubtfully, and I kissed him silent.
“Not all tears are an evil, my love,” I whispered on his lips, reaching behind me to push his hands down to my ass. He obligingly squeezed and kneaded, then pushed William’s trousers as far down my hips as he could get them. When his hands settled on my bare skin I hissed, and nuzzled his cheek. “I want you inside me, Bleddyn.”
He was the one to shiver, this time, and he held me tighter, bucking his hips up sharply. He was hard again.
“And I desire nothing more than your heat and tightness around me, consuming me, burning away all that does not matter,” he said shakily. “But I’ve brought nothing to ease the way for us—no oil or salve to—” and he fell silent when, after digging in the left pocket of William’s trousers, I came out with the small pot of salve. His eyes widened and he looked at me so wonderingly and disbelievingly, that I blushed and shrugged.
“One of these days, I’ll actually get around to trying it on my ankle,” I promised, and Bleddyn grinned and kissed me, rolling us over again, so that he was on top of me. Laughing and gasping, we touched and kissed and hurried each other out of our trousers and boots until we lay skin to skin, shimmying and grinding against each other and staring into each other’s eyes.
“You are the loveliest piece of Creation I have ever seen,” he murmured, brushing his index finger across my cheek, then tracing my lips. He smiled solemnly when I kissed his fingertip, then drew in a shuddering breath when I licked his finger and sucked it into my mouth. “So versed in carnal delights, yet still so innocently and virtuously do you shine.”
I pulled off his finger with an indecent swirl of tongue and kissed him. “You’re really gonna turn my head with all this flattery, if you’re not careful.”
“’Flattery’ assumes that I am taking liberties with attributes you may or may not possess. But what I speak is only the truth.” Bleddyn searched my eyes and smiled again. “You are lovely and sweet, virtuous and good. I have seen so with my own eyes, and nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise.”
I thought of Rhys, and what would happen the next time Bleddyn saw him, and held my peace. We would have to see, wouldn’t we? Of course Bleddyn meant well—I was beginning to see that he’d never meant otherwise. Perhaps not in his entire life. But men had done worse things than dump the guy they barely knew to get the approval of their fathers.
“And you,” I said to Bleddyn, shoving those thoughts to the side, for now, with a herculean effort. If further heart-break lay ahead, then I would cross that bridge when I came to it, and not borrow trouble now. “You are—sexy and smart, funny and earnest, honorable and good. I’ve never met a man like you before, and everything you do, everything you are makes me fall more deeply in love with you. I can’t even imagine my life without you in it, anymore.”
Bleddyn kissed me deeply, intensely, till I could barely remember my own name, let alone his. “And you will not ever have to, for this I promise: for as long as I draw breath, I am yours, body, heart, and soul.”
I closed my eyes on the tears that threatened to swamp them again . . . waited till I had some semblance of control before opening them again and looking up into Bleddyn’s dark eyes. “And for as long as I draw breath—longer, even—I’m yours: body, heart, and soul.”
Bleddyn leaned up and kissed my eyelids, then the bridge of my nose. “I love you beyond all previous meaning of the word,” he breathed, and I felt around in the straw for the pot of salve. When I found it, I pressed it into Bleddyn’s hand.
“If you love me, then love me,” I murmured playfully, gazing into his eyes and smiling.
I awoke some unknowable time later to murky dimness, the sound of heavy rain, and the safety of Bleddyn spooned up behind me, his arm around me, one of his knees between my thighs as he breathed slowly, evenly in my ear.
A gust of chill air came from somewhere, and both Bleddyn and I shivered. Without moving any other muscles, I reached up and pulled the blanket covering us up higher, till it was practically up to our noses.
Once that mission was accomplished, I sleepily patted myself on the back before the implications of blanket hit me.
There’d been no blankets anywhere in the barn before Bleddyn and I had fallen asleep, let alone covering us.
Unless Bleddyn had gone to raid Gwenllian’s cottage once I’d gone to sleep, there could be no blanket. Which meant that someone else had covered us over. Someone had seen us like this and not woken us with accusations or recriminations, but had thought only to make certain we were warm.
Who in the hell would—? I thought, coming fully awake for a few moments before my brain supplied a disdainful: Who else, idiot? Gwenllian! She’s obviously returned.
And indeed, there was a horse, a tall, dark-grey mare, in the stall across from the one Bleddyn and I had commandeered, and there hadn’t been, before we’d fallen asleep. . . .
Yawning, I settled back into the makeshift mattress of shirt-covered hay, and into my lover’s arms. I pulled the blanket—thick, woolen, and a dreamy shade of blue—up just a bit higher, and went back to sleep, despite my brain’s sluggish reminder that I had come here for answers, not for a literal roll in the hay and a nap after.
Answers could wait a little while longer. Who knew how long this peace Bleddyn and I had found in each other’s arms would last?
When next I awoke, the barn was much dimmer, and there was no patter of rain to disturb a silence broken only by the breathing and grunts of the horses and cows.
Bleddyn was clearly awake behind me, thrusting his cock against my ass, one hand between my legs, stroking me off. At some point, he’d hogged the blanket, and I was only barely covered. I shivered, from more than just the chill, and moaned happily. Bleddyn nuzzled my ear and bit the lobe.
“Are you chilled, my love?” he murmured, and I pushed back against him.
“A little . . . warm me up?”
Not needing to be asked twice, Bleddyn was already lifting my leg, his hand stroking down my inner thigh as he lined himself up and brushed my hole with the tip of his cock. I moaned again and held my leg up higher, wanting him to have all the access he needed. He kissed his way down my neck, to my shoulder as he slowly guided himself into me.
“Fy ngoleuni, oh, fy ngoleuni . . . I wish. . . .”
“What is it you wish?” I gasped out as he filled every inch of me and then some. Despite being pretty slick from earlier, it still burned in the best way as his cock stretched me and seemed to take up space in my very being.
When Bleddyn could go no further—when I could’ve sworn I felt cock nudging my right lung—he exhaled and squeezed me tightly to him. “I wish to be . . . with you . . . like this . . . forever,” he sighed, sliding his hand up and down my chest soothingly. I smiled and clenched every muscle I could around him, till he groaned and began to pull out a little, only to thrust back in as if trying to get as deep as he could, then deeper, still.
“You have me whenever you want, however you want, for as long as you want, Bleddyn.”
“Say it again, Karthik, for never have words sounded sweeter.”
I gasped as his hand drifted lower, to my cock, and took up stroking once more, slow and tight, his thumb swiping the head intermittently, sliding in pre-come and toying with the slit. For a minute, I was beyond words, my entire being taken up with fighting not to come. Then I was gritting out the words Bleddyn wanted as he teased me.
“You have me . . . whenever you want me. However you want me. For as long . . . as you want me. . . .”
“Always. In every way. Forever,” Bleddyn whispered, biting my ear lobe again as he pulled out, but for the very tip of his cock, then drove back in like a battering ram, causing me to wail. Then he did it again. And again. And again. Until my whole world was being filled and emptied then filled again—hard and fast—and his hand, a teasing agonizingly perfect counterpoint to his powerful thrusts.
When he hit my prostate, I hit a high note I’ve never hit before. It was damn-near operatic. Never has that particular noise come out of my throat before.
“There?” Bleddyn asked, stilling in me for a few moments and undulating his hips as the head of his cock put nearly unbearable pressure on my prostate. I nodded frantically.
“Right there,” I managed to say, clenching around him and pushing back against him. Bleddyn obligingly pulled out a little and drove in hard again at that exact angle, once more tearing that high note from my throat. And he kept doing it, till I was voiceless and senseless, a needy pleasure-machine, working toward an orgasm that felt like it’d obliterate me. But I was beyond caring. All I knew was the sheer perfection of Bleddyn on me and in me and around me, his voice murmuring endearments or filth (it was Bleddyn, so probably the former) in Welsh.
Finally, Bleddyn stopped stroking me to cup my balls in his hand, squeezing and tugging on them, before drifting further back and pinching the thin strip of skin behind them. He pinched and pulled and twisted and I actually began sobbing as I started to come in burning pulses that seemed to come from the core of me. Every muscle in my body capable of convulsing did so, and Bleddyn began groaning, his thrusts losing rhythm, but not power, until he thrusted once, twice, a third time, hard, and stilled inside me before he came, shouting my name. I could feel each heated throb as he filled me with his thick, lava-hot release, and that kicked my own climax into overdrive. Fireworks went off behind my closed eyes until even they were whited out by pleasure so intense, it bordered on pain.
And that was all I knew for a while. . . .
When sense returned to me, Bleddyn was holding me tight, still thrusting his half-hard cock slowly and gently into my spent body, one hand stroking my abdomen, smearing my come all over my torso. I had no doubt that I looked like a hot mess . . . and I couldn’t have been happier.
I sighed contentedly, then started giggling.
“And what amuses you so, fy ngoleuni?” Bleddyn asked, nuzzling my hair and kissing the back of my head.
“Nothing, I just . . . love that you’re like the Energizer Bunny. You just keep going and going and going.” I giggled again, looking over my shoulder just in time to get kissed leisurely, but thoroughly.
“Never have I desired another the way I desire you. You are a fever in my body and blood. I cannot have enough of you. I will never have enough of you.”
“Mm . . . I feel the same way.” I stretched a little, and clenched sore muscles around Bleddyn till he groaned and his lazy thrusts turned a bit more ambitious. His right arm tightened around me and the arm that’d been pillowing my head came down to wrap around my neck in a loose embrace, and he pulled me close. I put my hand back on his slowly pistoning hip and hitched myself back onto him, closer to him.
“When I’m with you—at all times, but especially when I lay with you—I feel as if we are **dau hanner o un cyfan. . . two halves of the same whole,” Bleddyn whispered, his words tremoring slightly as he moved the hand resting on my abdomen up to cover my own hand on his hip. He linked our fingers together and squeezed tight, bringing our hands forward till they rested over my heart. “I cannot now remember what it is not to love you, or be able to touch you. I feel as if I have always loved you, and was simply waiting to know it. Waiting to find you.”
“And you did, oh, Bleddyn . . . you not only found me, you saved me. In more ways than I can say.” I leaned my head back on his shoulder and he kissed me tenderly, so sweetly, I whimpered and tears leaked from my eyes. My over-sensitized body was shivering and shaking from the echoes of my last climax and the precursors of the one Bleddyn was working it toward.
We rocked together, back and forth, until Bleddyn rolled us over so that he was on top of me. The prickliness of the hay through and around the askew shirts we were laying on didn’t even bother me. All that mattered was his body on mine, in mine, and surrounding mine. Anchoring me to Earth lest sheer joy send me spiraling up into the sky, never to return.
“***Rwy'n caru i ti, Karthik,” he breathed in my ear, hot and fervid, as he drove his cock deep into me. I let out a desperate yell as he hit my prostate hard and my pleasure-saturated body really began to shudder and shimmy. “****Mae gen i nad yw'r geiriau yn y Gymraeg, na'r Saesneg i wield y teimlad . . . ond yr wyf yn garu di.”
I closed my eyes and lost myself in his words. In the juggernaut-pleasure bearing down on me. In the feeling that at last, I was safe and loved, body, heart, and soul.
The sky was truly darkening by the time we emerged from the barn, hand in hand, and made our way to the widow’s cottage door.
Before Bleddyn could knock—he was already red-faced, having noticed the blanket, and realizing that the widow had seen us in flagrante delicto—I stepped in front of him and straightened his rumpled shirt as best I could, picking off a persistent piece of hay.
“What, I wonder, will she say?” he said quietly and a trifle chagrined. I smiled, leaning in to kiss the tip of his nose.
“I think that’ll depend on what we ask.” Bleddyn’s eyebrows rose, and I laughed. “C’mon, Butch, let’s do this before we wind up having sex on her doorstep.”
“I would never!” Bleddyn said, sounding affronted and appalled. I grinned and leaned close again.
“You’re saying that if I got on my knees right now and worshiped your amazing, beautiful cock with my warm, wet, willing mouth . . . you wouldn’t let me?”
Bleddyn turned even redder and swallowed. “I—I choose to believe you would not so tempt me on another’s doorstep.”
“Mm, believe what you like, handsome.” I winked and turned to face the door, raising my hand. Before I could bring it down in a knock, the door opened and there stood our erstwhile hostess, smiling, in a golden-orange glow of hearth- and lamp-light.
For a moment, my idiot heart thought it was Dierdre, and I nearly threw myself into her arms and cried, so happy was I to see her—so desperate was I to tell her all that’d happened to me in the past two days. But then my brain reminded me that this was Gwenllian Robert, not Dierdre McConnell.
“Good evening, Master Karthik, Master Bleddyn,” she said, as if two rumpled men who’d just spent the day fucking in her barn turned up on her doorstep every evening. Bleddyn and I exchanged a quick glance, and when I looked back at her she was smiling wryly, as if she’d heard what I was thinking. Then she stepped aside and gestured for us to come in. “Will you come in and sup with me, this evening? For there is much we must talk about . . . though I gather you must know this, too, else you would not have come all this way to see me.”
I exchanged another glance with a still-blushing Bleddyn and he shrugged as if to say: It’s your safari, Bwana. I’m just following your lead.
So I took a breath—and Bleddyn’s hand—and we stepped into the widow of Lake Ty n-y-mynydd’s cottage.
**Two halves of the same whole.
***I love thee, Karthik.
****I have not the words in Welsh, nor English to wield the feeling . . . but I love thee.